Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

Still In Mourning

Four years ago on this day Russ, Skylar's "Uncle Grandpa," who lived upstairs from us at 617 Napa Street with his partner Joe, passed away after a terrible struggle with cancer. We think about him every day. I'm sure that Skylar's perverse behavior this week has been her way of acting out memories that she can no longer access directly. Kim and I had a great time Friday night, but it was in our pre-parental Vallejo fashion, making the memories more vivid than they otherwise would be.

No one deserves to die before their time. But Russie's death was particularly cruel. So many gay men of his generation died of AIDS. Happily partnered with Joe for decades, he avoided that scourge, only to waste away just like an AIDS victim. I'm glad we got to say goodbye to him. The experience of seeing him so far gone, though, when we visited at the end of January, 2001, was one of the worst of my life.

If your spirit is watching, Russ, take heart in seeing what a smart, beautiful girl the Bean has become and know that we all love and miss you more than words can say. We will always be your family and you will always be ours.

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